[Below the two links you will see the only words uttered by Trump in that interview referring to either Russia or Syria. He said nothing about “condemning Russia” or anything at all about “shooting old ladies.” According to the Brit report, all in attendance agreed that Trump could speak “OFF THE RECORD” on Syria, either the NYT Big Dogs flat-out lied about whatever Trump then said to them, or they lied to him, in order to obtain unsupportable confidential exchange w/Trump, to use against him later.]
[Trump condemns Russian military campaign in Syria and says Putin’s nuclear arsenal should be reduced]
“I mean when you see them shooting old ladies walking out of town — they can’t even walk and they’re shooting ’em — it almost looks like they’re shooting ’em for sport — ah no, that’s . . . a terrible situation.”
TRUMP: I don’t think we should be a nation builder. I think we’ve tried that. I happen to think that going into Iraq was perhaps … I mean you could say maybe we could have settled the civil war, O.K.? I think going into Iraq was one of the great mistakes in the history of our country. I think getting out of it — I think we got out of it wrong, then lots of bad things happened, including the formation of ISIS. We could have gotten out of it differently.
FRIEDMAN: NATO, Russia?
TRUMP: I think going in was a terrible, terrible mistake. Syria, we have to solve that problem because we are going to just keep fighting, fighting forever. I have a different view on Syria than everybody else. Well, not everybody else, but then a lot of people. I had to listen to [Senator] Lindsey Graham, who, give me a break. I had to listen to Lindsey Graham talk about, you know, attacking Syria and attacking, you know, and it’s like you’re now attacking Russia, you’re attacking Iran, you’re attacking. And what are we getting? We’re getting — and what are we getting? And I have some very definitive, I have some very strong ideas on Syria. I think what’s happened is a horrible, horrible thing. To look at the deaths, and I’m not just talking deaths on our side, which are horrible, but the deaths — I mean you look at these cities, Arthur, where they’re totally, they’re rubble, massive areas, and they say two people were injured. No, thousands of people have died. O.K. And I think it’s a shame. And ideally we can get — do something with Syria. I spoke to Putin, as you know, he called me, essentially …
UNKNOWN: How do you see that relationship?
TRUMP: Essentially everybody called me, all of the major leaders, and most of them I’ve spoken to.
FRIEDMAN: Will you have a reset with Russia?
TRUMP: I wouldn’t use that term after what happened, you know, previously. I think — I would love to be able to get along with Russia and I think they’d like to be able to get along with us. It’s in our mutual interest. And I don’t go in with any preconceived notion, but I will tell you, I would say — when they used to say, during the campaign, Donald Trump loves Putin, Putin loves Donald Trump, I said, huh, wouldn’t it be nice, I’d say this in front of thousands of people, wouldn’t it be nice to actually report what they said, wouldn’t it be nice if we actually got along with Russia, wouldn’t it be nice if we went after ISIS together, which is, by the way, aside from being dangerous, it’s very expensive, and ISIS shouldn’t have been even allowed to form, and the people will stand up and give me a massive hand. You know they thought it was bad that I was getting along with Putin or that I believe strongly if we can get along with Russia that’s a positive thing. It is a great thing that we can get along with not only Russia but that we get along with other countries.
JOSEPH KAHN, managing editor: On Syria, would you mind, you said you have a very strong idea about what to do with the Syria conflict, can you describe that for us?
TRUMP: I can only say this: We have to end that craziness that’s going on in Syria. One of the things that was told to me — can I say this off the record, or is everything on the record?
SULZBERGER: No, if you want to …
TRUMP: I don’t want to violate, I don’t want to violate a …
SULZBERGER: If you want to go off the record, we have agreed you can go off the record. Ladies and gentlemen, we are off the record for this moment.
[Trump speaks off the record.]
Someone should take US Director of National Intelligence James Clapper aside for a talk. He desperately needs to be told that when you’re deep in a hole, the first step toward getting out is to stop digging.
Clapper’s been in such a hole since 2013, when he got caught lying to Congress about the National Security Agency’s surveillance of and data collection on Americans. Oops.
On January 6, he fired up a backhoe and dug himself six feet deeper when his office issue a report on alleged Russian hacking in relation to the 2016 US presidential election.
Like previous such reports, this one – “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent US Elections” – offers no actual evidence of Russian state cyber warfare on America’s election systems or political parties. If any such evidence exists, it remains a state secret. Most of us have hopefully learned by now that when the US intelligence community says “trust us,” that’s the very last thing we should do.
In lieu of the missing evidence, the report offers definitions of foreign propaganda that should chill any any freedom-loving American to the bone.
The ODNI report takes on Russian state media – specifically, Russia Today, the Putin regime’s global television equivalent of US propaganda outlets like Radio Free Europe and Radio y Television Marti.
A few excerpts from the report’s criticisms of RT:
“RT ran numerous reports on alleged US election fraud and voting machine vulnerabilities, contending that US election results cannot be trusted and do not reflect the popular will.”
Oddly, this seems to be precisely what American mainstream media have been telling us for the last two months … and blaming the Russians for!
“In an effort to highlight the alleged ‘lack of democracy’ in the United States, RT broadcast, hosted, and advertised third party candidate debates and ran reporting supportive of the political agenda of these candidates. The RT hosts asserted that the US two-party system does not represent the views of at least one-third of the population and is a ‘sham.’”
So Russia Today does what American media mostly refuse to do: It allows third party candidates to be part of the public discussion. And this is a bad thing exactly how?
“RT’s reports often characterize the United States as a ‘surveillance state’ and allege widespread infringements of civil liberties, police brutality, and drone use …”
Does anyone seriously doubt that characterization or those allegations?
Most Americans are presumably politically savvy enough to understand that media financed and/or operated by governments will support those governments’ agendas. Of course we should be skeptical of Russia Today … and of National Public Radio. But not as skeptical of either as we should be of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism. He lives and works in north central Florida. This article is reprinted with permission from William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism.
Statement by India on the death of several UAE nationals and injury to UAE Ambassador in terrorist attack in Kandahar, Afghanistan on 10 January 2017
January 12, 2017
We are deeply saddened with the news of the death of several UAE nationals, among others, and the serious injuries suffered by the UAE Ambassador to Afghanistan resulting from a bomb blast that took place at a guesthouse in Kandahar on 10 January during a meeting between senior Afghan officials and UAE diplomats.
This dastardly terrorist attack is all the more condemnable as the UAE Ambassador was in Kandahar on a humanitarian mission to lay foundation stone for the Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan centre for orphans.
We offer our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the bereaved families and wish speedy recovery to those injured in the attack.
These cowardly attacks once again bring in sharp focus the inhumane suffering inflicted on the peace loving people of the region by the abominable phenomenon of international terrorism, which sadly continues to have its epicentre in our region and is pursued brazenly as an instrument of state policy to achieve narrow political objectives.
We stand by the people and the government of UAE and Afghanistan in our common fight against this menace which threatens all societies across the globe.
India remains firmly committed to working closely and actively with the UAE and Afghanistan to eradicate the curse of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations.
January 12, 2017
In the framework of its support for terrorist organizations
Damascus , ( SANA )
In the framework of its support for terrorist organizations and raise the morale enemy Israeli aircraft attacked a site on the western side of Damascus.
A military source told SANA: “In a desperate attempt to support terrorist organizations oldest enemy Israeli aircraft at 00:25 after midnight on the launch of several missiles north of Lake Tiberias landed in the vicinity of Mezze airport which led to a fire in the place.”
The source added that “the general command of the army and the armed forces warn the Israeli enemy of the repercussions of this blatant assault and confirm the continuation of the war on terror even eliminate it and amputated arms behind it.”
Former Pakistan Army chief General Raheel Sharif (Retd) has not yet formally accepted the offer to lead the 39-member Islamic Military Alliance and negotiations are still underway on three important terms: inclusion of Iran along with other Muslim countries in the alliance, said a close aide of the former military chief.
Lieutenant General Amjad Shoaib (Retd), while talking to Business Recorder said that he himself spoke to General Raheel Sharif (Retd) who contradicted the claims made by Defence Minister Khawaja Asif that a decision has been taken that General Sharif would lead the alliance after an NoC [No-objection certificate] was given by the GHQ.
He further revealed that the Saudi government will send a formal proposal to the government of Pakistan, mostly likely by March this year, and it will be the prerogative of the government of Pakistan to give the go ahead to General Sharif(Retd) or not. “I personally spoke to General Raheel Sharif. He [General Sharif] has not yet accepted the offer but negotiations are still underway”, Shoaib said, adding the former army chief has placed three important terms to be met before he will consider the offer.
The terms, he added, include that Iran and other Muslim countries like Iraq and Syria be part of the membership; secondly, he [General Sharif] would be the Commander of the forces and not under the command of anybody; and thirdly, in case of any conflict between two Muslim countries, he will act as a mediator.
Lieutenant General Amjad Shoaib Retd) further maintained that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif himself had welcomed the offer which was earlier made to General Raheel Sharif by the Saudi government. Civilian and military analysts on condition of strict anonymity told Business Recorder that the alliance, formally known as Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition, was announced by Saudi Arabia on December 15, 2015, initially with 34 member states; however several governments included in the coalition, including Pakistan, expressed surprise at their inclusion as they were not consulted.
And more importantly they point out that at present it is unclear whether the coalition would have an army to enforce its decisions, or merely act as a diplomatic mission that may well be as ineffectual as the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC). The coalition did not include Iran, Iraq and Syria -countries traditionally in conflict within the region.
Lieutenant General Talat Masood Retd), a senior defence analyst, said that it is not yet clear whether Pakistan and other Muslim countries would send their troops or take ground action in countries where Daesh is very active like Syria and Iraq or al Qaeda in Yemen.
He said that the position offered to General Sharif is itself a controversial one, since important countries of the regions including Iran, Iraq and Syria are not part of the coalition.
“It is strange that the coalition reportedly claims to be set up to fight Daesh and al Qaeda, especially in Iraq and Syria but these countries are not even included in the coalition…it is tantamount to fighting against another Muslim country, which is in conflict with the 12-point resolution passed by the joint sitting of parliament held from April 6 to 10, 2015”, he added.
The resolution passed by parliament underscored: “the need for continued efforts by the government of Pakistan to find a peaceful resolution of the crisis, while promoting the unity of Muslim Ummah, in co-operation with the leaders of other Muslim countries; [It] desires that Pakistan should maintain neutrality in the Yemen conflict so as to be able to play a proactive diplomatic role to end the crisis”.
In such situation, he added that it was up to the government to decide whether accepting any such offer will benefit the country’s interest or go against our own interests. Lieutenant Colonel Inam-ur-Rahim (Retd), a retired military lawyer and legal expert, pointed out that it is mandatory for a retired military official to get an NoC from GHQ prior to accepting any job abroad or a foreign funded job within the country, within two years of retirement.
“If General Reheel Sharif is going to accept the offer in his personal capacity, it would be deemed illegal, as it requires a formal NoC from the GHQ and the military has so far not issued any such statement”, he added. He said that after obtaining NoC from the GHQ, it is the prerogative of the Ministry of Defence to allow any military official to accept the offer.
Informed sources told Business Recorder on condition of anonymity that getting a NoC from the GHQ is unlikely to pose a problem. There is a long history of protecting retired officials and particularly retired chiefs of army staff, they stated adding that the civilian government too is susceptible to pressure from the establishment and is not likely to refuse if the army puts pressure in this regard. The objective of the alliance was stated as follows: “to protect the Muslim countries from all terrorist groups and terrorist organisations irrespective of their sect and name in countries including Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan”.
“We see this as a threat. These actions pose a threat to our interests and security,” Peskov told journalists on Thursday, stressing “especially, when a third country is beefing up its military presence along our borders with Europe.”
“And this is not even a European country,” he added.
Eighty-seven battle tanks, 144 Bradley fighting vehicles, and over 3,000 soldiers are on their way from Germany to Poland. An official ceremony to mark the arrival of the US servicemen was scheduled to take place on January 12.
The brigades are to be deployed mainly in the western part of Poland, but drills have been planned that are to be conducted across the whole country.
After the military exercises, the soldiers are to be distributed among Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, and the Baltic countries. A headquarters unit will be stationed in Germany.
The arrival of American military equipment and personnel in Poland is another step in Operation Atlantic Resolve, a large-scale military undertaking that the US launched in April of 2014, right after Crimea voted to join Russia, as a demonstration of “continued US commitment to the collective security of Europe.”
NATO describes the buildup along Russia’s borders as a defensive measure justified by Moscow’s alleged involvement in the Ukrainian crisis.
Peskov stressed that “any country may and will take a buildup of foreign military presence along its borders negatively.”
“This is exactly how we take it,” Peskov said.
“Be it one thousand or ten thousand [soldiers], it’s all the same. That’s a buildup of military presence and I have nothing to add,” he concluded, after being asked whether the new US deployment presented a real threat or was simply annoying to Russia.
Russia has repeatedly called the bloc’s moves aggressive, while stressing that they are undermining security in Europe. In response, Moscow has been conducting large-scale military drills on its home soil and stationed its most modern weaponry and armaments on its western borders, including in the enclave region of Kaliningrad, which is between Poland and Lithuania not far from Western Europe.